Parallel Action – Mini Mix (Featuring 10/10 W/ Charlie Boy Manson)

Today sees the debut release by Parallel Action, a new project led by multitalented creative ScanOne. A hard-working and productive artist, he is mainly known in the drum and bass community for his energetic DJ sets and running the graffiti splashed retro label, Modified Magic. While this new moniker will focus on slower tempos than we normally cover, the music packs no less of a punch.

The first release “10/10” (featuring Manchester MC Charlie Boy Manson) maintains key elements of jungle, namely an uncompromising anarchic edge paired with a wild bass groove.

We caught up with the producer to find out more.

Most readers of the blog will know you for your creations under the ScanOne moniker, what is with the change of direction from drum and bass to experimental hip hop?

It’s funny as I don’t see ScanOne as just drum and bass, I’ve always seen ScanOne as a myriad of electronic output, mainly breakbeat oriented bass music, from IDM, electro, breaks and jungle. ScanOne is a melting pot of all the faster genres I’m into. I wanted to create a new parallel journey for all the other types of slower music I’m influenced by, hence bringing Parallel Action to life. Just as I don’t see ScanOne fitting neatly into a D&B pigeon hole, I also don’t see Parallel Action sitting in a hip hop box.

A lot of 90s heads would probably expect you to opt for a boom-bap style of hip hop. Instead, you’ve gone for an edgy mix of psychedelic vocals and lo-fi beats. What inspired the production sound?

I first started getting into music in the late 80s so UK hip hop has always been a big influence, but so has brit-core, trip-hop, jazz breaks, psychedelic experimental stuff and film soundtracks. With Parallel Action I want to explore these types of styles with modern production techniques, I’m really into telling stories with my productions, journey tracks as I like to call them, I think this stems from my visual work.

I also want to collaborate more so you can expect tracks with vocalists, poets and storytellers along the way, each track complimenting the artist I’m working with. I can’t wait to share what’s brewing for 2021 though as you’ll start to understand a bit more about where I’m going with this direction.

UK hip hop continues to push barriers and experiment, with MC’s openly discussing their flaws and hang-ups making it honest and identifiable. What do you want people to take from it?

I’m really happy with this collaboration with Charlie Boy Manson, its totally the attitude I wanted for this first release, Charlie Boys lyrics reflect his own journey. From a production viewpoint, I feel this track is a reflection of what’s happening around us currently and I wanted to reinforce that in the sonic energy. Raw and gritty bass punk.

What can people expect from the full Parallel Action EP and where can they find out more?

The EP with Charlie Boy features the two tunes we made together, “10/10” and “Memories” plus both instrumentals by me, all the tracks are in this vein of psychedelic angst and dark twisted grooves. “10/10” is out today with the EP up for pre-order and will be out in January on digital and super limited vinyl. Plus, check out the video which will drop in the next few days.

Buy: Bandcamp

Also follow Parallel Action on Facebook and Instagram to keep up with the next set of collaborations coming out early 2021, with an album to follow next summer.

Links: Facebook / Instagram

Exclusive Stream: Foul Play – Dubbing You (Sonar’s Ghost Exit 15 VIP)

To celebrate reaching 4000 followers on Soundcloud, here is an exclusive stream of a remix made for John’s appearance at Rupture in June 2019.

Fusing the original 92 track “Dubbing You” by Foul Play and an unreleased VIP of Dom’s track “Exit 13”, the end result is a dancefloor-friendly mash-up of the two tracks titled after the Motorway junction to Northampton.

Thank you for all your support.

Soundcloud: Two Hungry Ghosts / John Morrow

Premiere: Fushara Vs Ben Kei – Elevations (Constellations)

“Elevations” is taken from the debut release on new atmospheric drum and bass label, Constellations. The four-track EP is produced by label bosses Ben Kei (Dalston Chillies) and Fushara (7th Storey Projects). The digital files are on sale now, with a full vinyl release available for pre-order.

Heading into winter is normally a time for dark drum and bass to prevail, the harsh bite of colder climates and less sunlight personified perfectly by Reece basslines and tense strings. This year seems different, whether it’s the fact that the globe has witnessed so much tragedy and heartache or simply that producers are turning to the mood of Good Looking for inspiration in a time of eternal doom, the rise of atmospheric drum and bass heading into 2021 is an exciting moment in modern jungle music.

The launch release of Constellations is a perfect example of the GLR style of DnB done right. Ben Kei knows a thing or two about the golden years of drum and bass, running the popular Dalston Chillies label focusing on the sounds of the 90s, with releases by jungle luminaries Equinox and Tim Reaper. Fushara has been pushing the emotive side of drum and bass for well over a decade now, with music featuring on 7th Storey Projects, Pinecone Moonshine and Criterion to name only a few. This combination of producers resulting in the perfect pairing to launch such a project.

Featuring four tracks of finely edited breaks, warm basslines and melodies to soothe, the EP is perfect for escapism and inspiration.

Buy: constellationsdnb.bandcamp.com

THG X Noods – Room 2 W/ Digital And Outrage (Influences Set)

Different from other drum and bass shows, “Two Hungry Ghosts Present Room 2” will showcase a different guest each month with a multi-genre selection.

This will either be an hour of influences (from any genre) or sets where anything goes (except drum and bass).

The first show aired on December 2nd with Digital and Outrage (from the iconic and progressive Metalheadz label) to celebrate the release of their “Kingdom EP”, their first release as a duo on Headz.

The EP features three tracks of murky dub fused jungle, with the lead track “Kingdom” providing a rapturous explosion of perfectly programmed drums and low-end bass. Undoubtedly, one of my highlights from the 2020 Metalheadz discography.

In their Room 2 selection, expect a fast rotation of dub, reggae, early hip hop, bleeps and jungle…

Tracklist below.

Buy: backl.ink/kingdom

THG X Noods – Room 2 W/ Digital And Outrage (Influences Set) Tracklist

Digital

Big Youth – Tippertone Rocking
U Brown – Stop Them Jah
Junior Byles – Fade Away
Johnny Osbourne – Rewind
Little John – Yes Mamma
Flourgan – Hol A Splif
Sugar Minott – Cool Down
Audrey Hall – One Dance Won’t Do
Johnny Osbourne – Water Pumping
Sugar Minott – African Dub
Schooly D – P.S.K. (What Does It Mean?)
Hasim – Al Naafiysh
Man Parrish – Hip Hop Be-Bop
Second Phase – Mentasm
Demonik – Labyrinthe
Photek – Rings Around Saturn
Tom & Jerry – It Comes A Dime A Dozen

Outrage

King Tubby – Rebel Dance
LFO – LFO
Phuture – Acid Tracks
Joey Beltram – Dominator
Frequency – Kiss The Sky
Hyper On Experience – Disturbance (Tango Remix)
Remarc – RIP (DJ Hype Remix)
Source Direct – Stonekiller
Dillinja – The Angels Fell
Dom & Roland – Iceberg
Jonny L – Piper (Grooverider Remix)
Digital & Spirit – Phantom Force
Bad Company – The Nine
Ed Rush & Optical – Bacteria
Konflict – Messiah

Premiere: Charly Says – Good In My Soul [Decibella Remix] (Disrupt Records)

The Decibella remix of “Good In My Soul” is taken from the second release on Disrupt Records, the “Decisions EP” by Charly Says. Released on both digital and vinyl formats, the four-track EP will be available on December 4th direct from the labels Bandcamp. The digital version also features an exclusive remix of “Right Decision” by Ben Kei (Dalston Chillies) and Pesk.

Disrupt Records was set up earlier this year by the crew at “The History Of Jungle Show”, a weekly stream on Dejavu FM where the team champion jungles rich past and air future music from modern producers. Recent guests have included Dwarde, FFF and Thugwidow.

The “Decisions EP” is jungle in a classic 94/95 style, with the two original tracks constructed around a solid collection of vintage sounds and samples, a nerds paradise of jungle history that will invoke hazy memories of nights past. “Right Decision” captures the spirit of the era perfectly with its rare groove and sax intro, before launching into frenzied chops and a ragga vocal drop.

The intro of “Good In Your Soul” opts for a dreamy approach with the think break, soft pads, Rhodes and RnB vocals. This soothing atmosphere is soon disrupted by fierce amen edits, which when combined with the pads and vocals later in the track create a beautiful balance of rough and smooth.

Artists on remix duties are FFF (7th Storey Projects/3AM Eternal), Decibella (Diamond Life/AKO) and Ben Kei (Dalston Chillies/Constellations) alongside Pesk (History Of Jungle/Disrupt).

Buy: disruptrecords.bandcamp.com

Akuratyde Talks Design And Modern Conveniences

2020 has seen the release of lots of great music and the launch of several exciting labels. One of our favourites is Modern Conveniences, the brainchild of producer and graphic designer Akuratyde.

We sat down for a chat about the project, releases and its beautiful artwork.

What inspired you to set up your own label? Can’t be the easiest time to do it!

Yeah, I actually had this planned well before COVID struck but it took awhile to get all of the pieces in place so the first EP didn’t end up coming out until August.

It started early 2019 with a favor. I do graphic and website design for a living, I designed Kid Drama’s site and in return he remixed “Plume” from my first album. Around the same time Kharm reached out to me and offered to remix a song from my album, and then I ended up designing the website for Random Movement’s record label, Flight Pattern, and he also did a remix for me. I sent them to Chris BMT and he liked them but didn’t feel they were quite the right fit for Blu Mar Ten Music so he urged me to release them myself. He even got me set up with their distributor so that the release could be on Spotify, iTunes, etc.

Originally I was just going to release those 3 remixes but more people kept reaching out wanting to remix my tunes and I figured I should do a proper label instead of a one-off release.

We will come back to your graphic design a bit later on but I’m interested to hear more about that first EP. Was it a bitter pill to swallow when Chris said he didn’t want to put them out after having all these artists remix these tracks?

Not really. Chris is very straightforward and blunt with his feedback because he keeps the bar extremely high when it comes to quality and consistency. I know him well enough to know it’s not personal. Plus, I knew it was a bit of a risk getting those remixes done without consulting him first. He was very supportive and helped me a lot with getting my label setup. I’m really happy with how everything turned out because I’ve wanted to run my own label since 1999.

Seems like they really supported you as an artist, how come it took you 21 years to finally take the plunge and set up a label?

Honestly, I didn’t know where to start. When Chris offered to set me up with his distributor that really set things in motion. After that I began researching business licenses, etc.

Yeah, that side of setting up a label is enough to put anyone off. So, now you’re up and running, how are you finding it?

It’s a lot more work than I realized! I’m finding that it takes up a large part of my week, but that’s partially because I’m taking it very seriously and trying to offer a really high quality package; from the branding and artwork to the releases themselves. It’s stressful but also really rewarding. I love reaching out to artists and asking them to do an EP for the label and then getting it delivered a few months later. I just received two different ones in the past week and both EP’s are sick! I can’t wait to share them with everyone.

Are you prepared to give us an insight into who these artists might be?

Not yet, I’m still sorting out the release schedule for 2021 so I don’t want to announce them now and then keep people waiting.

I can tell you that I have an EP from RQ dropping on Dec. 18th. It’s called Solar Wind and it’s backed with a remix by Tellus. The EP is a bit different than RQ’s recent output, it’s a little darker and techier. I’m hoping people will think it’s an interesting direction for the label because it’s a sound I’d like to explore on further releases while still keeping the main focus on melodic music.

Ah, that’s interesting. You know I’m a big fan of RQ, I look forward to hearing that for sure. I love it when a label inspires producers to try something different, can we have a sneak peek at the artwork?

Of course!

MODCON005_social

Your label, Modern Conveniences, has a very distinct look and style to it. Can you tell us a bit about its inspiration?

Thanks man, I really appreciate that. I’ve been surprised at how many people have commented on the artwork, it’s really fulfilling as a graphic designer to get feedback like that.

The direction of the art was inspired by a couple of different things: first was the name. I’ve had that name kicking around in my head for awhile as a potential song or album title. It’s a commentary on how we have all of these amazing technologies and completely take them for granted. Once I settled on that name for the label I knew the artwork should be a bit edgy as a counterpoint to the somewhat bland and vague name. I’d been looking at a lot of ’90s cyberpunk artwork online and though I’d try to incorporate some of those elements along with something a bit more current.

The second source of inspiration was the desire to do something completely different from my other artwork. I do a lot of artwork for different record labels: Flight Pattern, Locked Concept, and none60 to name a few. I wanted to create something completely unique to my label so I wouldn’t feel like I was repeating myself. It’s fun and challenging as a designer to try something new that I’ve never attempted before.

Do you think the art will inspire the music producers make for the label? Or vice versa?

I always wait until a release is finished before I start on the artwork so it’s definitely driven by the music. I do a 3D render for each cover but I try not to interpret the release title too literally. I usually listen to the release a few times while doing the artwork for extra inspiration. For me it’s more about finding a vibe that fits each release and also reflects the aesthetic I want for the label.

I suppose at some point the label’s aesthetic might inspire some of the music I’m receiving from producers and if that happens it would be really cool. Visuals often inspire the music I make so I could see it happening once the visual style of the label is more established.

With that in mind, how did the music on this new RQ EP influence the cover design?

Great question. The title track is called “Solar Wind”, and there’s also a song on the EP called “LV-426”, which is the famous planet from the Alien franchise, so I began thinking about terraforming planets and big wind turbines. I ended up making this geometric render which sort of reminded me of a fan or turbine. As I mentioned earlier the EP is rather dark and moody so I went with a color palette which I felt reflected the vibe of the music.

The music is also pretty stripped back and minimal so I wanted to reflect that in the design. I kept it a bit simpler than some of the other covers, just one big image as a focal point with some clean typography.

RQ is a really well-respected designer and it’s always a bit nerve-wracking sending my work to other designers for approval but he was really happy with it and didn’t suggest any changes.

You recently released Redesigned Vol. 2. How would describe this set of remixes and how did they come about? More web design favours?

The Random Movement remix was a web design favor. The rest were all producers that reached out to me and wanted to do a remix. I’m friends with Method One in real life, every time he comes to LA we hang out and the last time he was here we got brunch and talked about him doing a remix of “Lost Summer”.

I’d been pestering Kharm for years as I’m a huge fan of his stuff. Every year I’d message him and ask when he was going to write some new music. That eventually lead to our tune “Enamoured”, which we released on Microfunk earlier this year, and then he decided to take a crack at “Into The Sea”. I love the way he flipped it into an autonomic tune. I really like when producers change the tempo of a song for a remix, it gives it a completely different feel.

The Margari’s Kid remix came about from us chatting on Facebook. I love how stripped back his remix is, it’s also got such a different vibe from the original. I tried to be really thoughtful about the way I grouped the remixes on Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 because I waited until all of the remixes were complete before deciding on the tracklists. Vol. 2 is definitely a bit brighter and more joyous and that was by design. I wanted to have a nice contrast between the two and I’m really happy with how they both turned out.

Links: Web / Bandcamp

Artwork Gallery

Krust – The Edge of Everything (LP and Remixes)

The Edge of Everything” by Krust has undoubtedly created a rejuvenated interest in drum and bass. What makes it more exciting is that the furore centres around the return of a pioneering artist from the 90s, not the sound of the 90s or a perceived jungle resurgence (we all know it never went anywhere). Catching the attention of the media, with positive comments in publications diverse as the Metro (a daily London newspaper) and “rock’n’roll” focused magazine Mojo, “The Edge of Everything” has once again put drum and bass firmly in the spotlight.

krust_eoe

For hardened fans of 170 BPM sonic experiments “The Edge of Everything” may not go far enough, a contingent of the 90s crew may be left thinking “where are all the breaks?” after the rolling intro of “Hegel Dialect” might give the impression the LP was going to lean to a more retro sound. As a drum and bass fan who has a passion for both of these styles, it’s when you except that the album was never going to be as straightforward as a continuation of “Coded Language”, or was ever going to contain an unreleased 90s VIP of “Jazz Note” that the LP really comes to life and can be enjoyed in all its cinematic glory.

At the end of my first listen, I wasn’t really sure what I thought about the album. I’ve since played “The Edge of Everything” a number of times and still manage to discover new things I like about it (the spoken word and ambient sections particularly striking a chord). For a long time, I’ve said drum and bass shouldn’t always sound like the golden years of 93-96 and this collection of moods and soundscapes certainly lives up to that mantra. A lot of 90s producers have been vocal over the last couple of years about making a return or producing new music, often never materialising. Krust has achieved what I always hoped, a return to the ethos that made him such a pivotal player in pushing drum and bass forward, without returning to the sounds we all know and love.

I’d urge anyone who has played the clips and thought it wasn’t for them, to play the album through in its entirety, once, twice, three times… the more you invest in the album the more you’ll get out of it. It’s a luxury a lot of artists can’t afford, I’m sure if one of the less established producers from the burgeoning 170 scene had crafted this it wouldn’t be up for DJ Mags “Album Of The Year” award for example. “The Edge of Everything” rewards research into its origin and is best approached with an open mind, if ever a modern drum and bass album warranted sleeve notes this would be it.

My hope is that it introduces people from outside the scene to artists like DYL, RQ and ASC as well as labels like UVB-76 and Pinecone Moonshine who have been pushing the more experimental side of DnB for a number of years, largely unnoticed by the mainstream.

krust_maw

The list of artists on remix duties is exciting but perhaps not quite what you’d expect, featuring pioneers from the electronic music scene rather than modern jungle luminaries. Masters At Work craft an early 2000 style broken beat version of “Antigravity Love”, complete with bonus KenLou dubs. Batu delivers a suitably out-there take on “Space Oddity”, resembling a wild journey through the cosmos and Crosstown Rebels label boss Damian Lazarus weaves a mystical cosmic tapestry of 4/4’s and electronic bass to create a hypnotic take on “Keter The Heavenly”.

The real highlight of the first remix package comes from Four Tet and his first drum and bass production. Beginning with a mystical chime melody, this optimistic and melodic spin on “Negative Returns” slowly builds layers of looped drums to create a funky and organic roller. As the remix progresses, the instantly recognisable riff from the original takes the track on a more electronic path before the chime melody returns with added PFM style pads. Its been a great year for music, and the arrival of Kieran Hebden to the 170 landscape might just have resulted in my favourite remix of 2020.

As mentioned earlier, I’d highly recommend listening to the album in full. Ideally with no expectations as to where you think it might go. With that in mind, one last bit of advice, avoid the edits of “Antigravity Love” and “Constructive Ambiguity”. The original versions of those two tracks deserve to be listened to in full and in context of the LP. The fact they don’t follow an easily consumed template arrangement is a strength, not something that should be dismantled.

Buy: Krust – Edge of Everything / Antigravity Love (Masters At Work Remixes) / Edge of Everything (Remixes)

Premiere: Sonic – Prince of Cambridge (Sneaker Social Club)

“Prince Of Cambridge” by Sonic is taken from the forthcoming album “The Eye Of Jupiter“, due to be released on Sneaker Social Club early December.

We recently caught up with the producer to discuss his early days making music alongside Silver, his studio set up, the LP, video games and a variety of other subjects.

The interview will be published later in the week, until then you can read an extract below where Sonic talks about the track we are premiering today, “Prince Of Cambridge”, a gritty take on the early Good Looking sound.

We asked Sonic about his priorities when making music…

“I think the vibe is most important, much more so than polish. I guess it’s a reaction to that period of DnB where everyone had to have Pendulum snares or whatever, haha… Also the goal of keeping things different, never settling comfortably into producing more polished versions of stuff done previously. I most admire people like Miles Davis, Sun Ra and Herbie Hancock, who never let things get stagnant, who always searched out the new.

As I mentioned I’m using an entirely analogue setup these days. A lot of the tracks are even sequenced on the Amiga, sometimes I literally just record the output direct to stereo off the desk. “Prince of Cambridge” was made that way for example. It’s the Amiga doing the breaks, layered with late 90’s EMU bells and strings, and an analogue synth or two, recorded direct. The title is a nod to Traumprinz aka Prince of Denmark who is an artist I find hugely inspiring. Like Four Tet, he makes what he wants to make, genres are not important. I often speak with Four Tet about my stuff and he always reminds me not to get too caught up in genres. That became a credo for me.”

“The Eye Of Jupiter” by Sonic can be pre-ordered here: Bandcamp

Premiere: BTK & Ink – The Last Scroll (Dispatch)

“The Last Scroll” is taken from the “Hollow LP” by BTK, forthcoming on Dispatch Recordings.

The late 90s and early 00s, which this album was inspired by, often focused on a paranoid, dark vision of the future dominated by global power and AI. As we approach 2021, we find ourselves living out the harsh reality of a world where technology grows more powerful and gains more control over our lives every day. As a result, BTK’s “Hollow LP” seems a fitting soundtrack to current times.

BTK fuses human and electronic elements to create a futuristic, twisted alchemy of funk infected by technology. Organic drums and percussion sit loud and proud behind a deluge of digital bass. Vocal tracks are filtered and processed to further the human/electronic fusion.

Featuring collaborations with Gremlinz, Ink and Jumpat, the album is dedicated to his long term production partner, Ed Optiv. The title, “Hollow”, reflecting the sad sense of loss felt by BTK and each track a poignant and a powerful tribute to the producer.

The album is released Friday, 27th November exclusive to Beatport and the Dispatch store with its general release, 11th December.

Buy: Dispatch Store / Bandcamp

Premiere: Akuratyde – Lost Summer [Method One Remix] (Modern Conveniences)

The Method One remix of “Lost Summer” by Akuratyde is taken from “Redesigned Volume 2”, forthcoming on Modern Conveniences.

This second instalment of remixes from the Akuratyde back catalogue is a much more positive and celebratory affair than the darker tones of the labels debut release “Redesigned Volume 1“.

The Method One remix, premiered here today, is an upbeat take on the original. A thoughtful and bright reinterpretation perfect for the dancefloor with its exuberant beats pitched vocals and jubilant harmony.

Elsewhere on the EP are contributions from Random Movement, Kharm and the wonderful Margaris Kid.

We asked producer and Modern Conveniences boss Akuratyde to describe this new set of remixes and how they came about…

“The Random Movement remix was a web design favor. The rest were all producers that reached out to me and wanted to do a remix. I’m friends with Method One in real life, every time he comes to LA we hang out and the last time he was here we got brunch and talked about him doing a remix of “Lost Summer”.

I’d been pestering Kharm for years as I’m a huge fan of his stuff. Every year I’d message him and ask when he was going to write some new music. That eventually lead to our tune “Enamoured”, which we released on Microfunk earlier this year, and then he decided to take a crack at “Into The Sea”. I love the way he flipped it into an autonomic tune. I really like when producers change the tempo of a song for a remix, it gives it a completely different feel.

The Margari’s Kid remix came about from us chatting on Facebook. I love how stripped back his remix is, it’s also got such a different vibe from the original. I tried to be really thoughtful about the way I grouped the remixes on Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 because I waited until all of the remixes were complete before deciding on the tracklists. Vol. 2 is definitely a bit brighter and more joyous and that was by design. I wanted to have a nice contrast between the two and I’m really happy with how they both turned out.”

Akuratyde “Redesigned Volume 2”, is released on Modern Conveniences Nov. 20th, 2020.

Buy: Bandcamp